Dr. Percy L. Julian Distinguished Lecture and Award

Dr. Percy L. Julian (April 11, 1899 – April 19, 1975)

The Percy L. Julian Award for significant contributions in pure and/or applied research in science or engineering is our most prestigious award. Dr. Julian was an African-American who obtained his BS in Chemistry from DePauw University in 1920. Although he entered DePauw as a “substandard freshman,” he graduated as the class valedictorian with Phi Beta Kappa honors. His frst job was as an instructor at Fisk University. Julian left Fisk and obtained a master’s degree in chemistry from Harvard in 1928, and his Ph.D. in 1931 from the University of Vienna, Austria. It was after his return to DePauw in 1933 that Julian conducted the research that led to the synthesis of physostigmine, a drug used in the treatment of glaucoma2. Julian left DePauw in 1936 to become director of research of the Soya Products Division of the Glidden Company in Chicago. This position at Glidden made Julian the world’s first African – American to lead a research group in a major corporation. Dr. Julian rewarded Gliden’s faith in him by producing many new commercial products from soy beans.

An entrepreneur as well as a scientist, in 1953 he founded Julian Laboratories and later Julian Associates, Inc. and the Julian Research Institute. Over the course of his career he acquired over 115 patents, including one for a fire-extinguishing foam that was used on oil and gasoline fires during World War II2. Though he had over 100 patents and 200 scientific publications, his most notable contribution was in the synthesis of steroids from soy and sweet potato products. Dr. Julian’s life and contributions were the subject of a recent biopic by NOVA/PBS entitled, “Forgotten Genius.” The film was broadcast nationally on February 6, 2007 on PBS TV stations.

The table below summarizes the winners of the NOBCChE Percy L Julian Award.

Year

Awardee Name

Affiliation at time of Award

1975

Dr. Arnold Stancell

Mobil Oil Company

1976

 

 

1977

Dr. W. Lincoln Hawkins

Bell Laboratories

1978

 

 

1979

Dr. William Lester

Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

1980

 

 

1981

Dr. James Mitchell

Bell Laboratories

1982

Dr. K.M. Maloney

Allied Corporation

1983

Dr. B.W. Turnquest

ARCO Petroleum

1984

 

 

1985

Dr. William Jackson

Howard University

1986

Dr. George Reed

Argonne National Laboratory

1987

Dr. Reginald Mitchell

Stanford University

1988

Dr. Isiah Warner

Emory University

1989

Dr. James C. Letton

Proctor & Gamble Company

1990

Dr. Theodore Williams

College of Wooster (Ohio)

1991

Dr. Bertrand Frazier-Reed

Duke University

1992

Dr. Willie May

NIST

1993

Dr. Joseph Gordon

IBM

1994

Dr. Dotsevi Y. Sogah

Cornell University

1995

Dr. Joseph Francisco

Purdue University

1996

Dr. Edward Gay

Argonne National Laboratory

1997

Dr. James H. Porter

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

1998

Dr. William A. Guillory

Innovations Consulting

1999

Dr. Linneaus Dorman

Dow Chemical

2000

 

 

2001

John E. Hodge

James A. Harris

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Peoria

Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

2002

Dr. Victor McCrary

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab

2003

Dr. Victor Atiemo-Obeng

Dow Chemical Company

2004

Dr. Gregory Robinson

University of Georgia, Athens

2005

Dr. James H. Wyche

University of Miami

2006

Dr. Jimmie L. Williams

Corning Incorporated

2007

Dr. Kenneth R. Carter

University of Massachusetts

2008

Dr. Sharon Haynie

DuPont Company

2009

Dr. Soni Olufemi Oyekan

Marathon Oil

2010

Dr. Thomas Mensah

Georgia Aerospace Corporation

2011

Dr. Theodore Goodson

University of Michigan

2012

Dr. Carlton Truesdale

Corning Incorporated

2013

Dr. Warren M. Washington

National Center for Atmospheric Research

2014

Dr. Cato Laurencin

University of Connecticut Institute for Regenerative Engineering

2015

Dr. Milton Brown Jr.

Georgetown University Drug Discovery Institute

BioMetrx, LLC